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WWE Fantasy: Raw and Smackdown Preview 4/10-4/11

With Wrestlemania 33 now two weeks behind us, WWE has decided to keep the excitement and anticipation going this week with the mysterious “Superstar Shake-Up.” Rather than go the proven route of a one-night draft—which has always creates anticipation—WWE has decided to step outside the box and try a new concept to rid the red and blue brands of their redundancy. Based on Vince McMahon’s vague descriptions, we can assume that it will simply amount to a series of trades, roster cuts, and subsequent signings; there is always the possibility of call-ups from NXT as well. With possible superstar movement garnering all of the attention, here are some of the storylines that are taking a back seat this week:

Confirmed Matches and Segments for Raw, per WWE.com:

  • How does the Superstar Shake-Up impact Team Red?
  • What does the future hold for Finn Balor?
  • Who will challenge Brock Lesnar?
  • Cesaro & Sheamus lock on to the Hardys’ titles
  • Will Chris Jericho get payback against Kevin Owens and Samoa Joe?

Confirmed Matches and Segments for Smackdown, per WWE.com:

  • WWE has already announced the Superstar Shake-Up will carry into Tuesday.
  • Pending the results of the Superstar Shake-Up, American Alpha will take on The Usos in a rematch for the tag-team titles.

The superstar shakeup reminds me a lot of the NBA Trade Deadline; there is a ton of hype and a slew of rumors, but it will most likely end in a night of disappointment. Most trade deadlines come and go with the deals that were not made garnering more attention than the lackluster ones that went through. WWE has a huge chance to keep their Wresltemania-related momentum going. The matchups on Raw and Smackdown have already grown stale just eight months into the brand split, so inter-brand trades could be a shot in the arm for painfully stale superstars such as Rusev, the New Day, and (despite being Intercontinental Champion) Dean Ambrose. Does that mean all of those superstars should move? Absolutely not!

With so much distance to cover, I am going to reinstate an old friend from my Wrestlemania predictions: the six-word story. This week’s six-word stories will detail why certain superstar scenery changes must, should, and must not happen.

Five Moves That MUST Happen

AJ Styles to Raw: He got fired from Smackdown, remember?

Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson to Smackdown: They’d dominate an extremely thin division.

The New Day to Smackdown: A fresh start will reinvigorate them.

Sasha Banks to Smackdown: The Smackdown division needs an anchor.

Sami Zayn to Smackdown: He’s no longer a viable threat.

Five Moves That Should Happen

Emma to Smackdown: The division is lacking legitimate threats.

Kalisto to Raw: His home is with the cruiserweights.

Roman Reigns to Smackdown: Someone needs to fill Styles’s void.

Alexa Bliss to Raw: She’s another perfect contrast of Bayley.

Rusev to Smackdown: He’s been underutilized for too long.

 

Five Moves That MUST NOT Happen

The Miz to Raw: He is Smackdown’s most consistent star.

Charlotte to Smackdown: Queens don’t belong on the B-show.

Shinsuke Nakamura to Raw: Smackdown sorely needs strong in-ring technicians.

Baron Corbin to Raw: Raw already has a resident monster.

Bray Wyatt to Raw: He would get completely, utterly overshadowed.

With fewer superstars to work with, Smackdown’s overused matchups are much harder to cover up than Raw’s. Rumors are already swirling that big names such as Banks and Reigns will switch brands. Will these rumors ring with the sound of truth? Or, will they prove to be mere gossip? What surprises do the WWE brass have in store for us? The latest editions of Raw and Smackdown, much like the ones that preceded them, could prove to be critical as pieces slowly start to move into place for WWE’s next major event, Summerslam.

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